East Texans with family, friends in Philippines receive good new - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

East Texans with family, friends in Philippines receive good news

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

While there is still a lot left to learn about the conditions in the Philippines, an East Texas student who is a native of that country has some news to be thankful for.

Entire communities in the Philippines have been destroyed by heavy winds and rain. It's estimated that nearly half a million people are homeless and thousands are dead.

However, UT Tyler student Gabby Cruz, who was born in the Philippines and lived there until she was eight years old, has good news about her family members who still live there.

"We just called our family members just to see how they're doing and luckily they live in the north part of the Philippines and the storm was mainly in the south. They just got a bunch of rain and tropical storms," says Gabby.

While Gabby knows her family members are fine, the conditions they're living in are still challenging.

"[There is] a lot of flooding and they said it's kind of gross because all of the sewer and garbage has just washed up and people are just in that," she says.

Gabby's grandparents just returned to the Philippines a couple of months ago after a year-long stay in the United States. She knows she's lucky to have spoken to her family on the phone when some of her friends have not.

Some East Texans who are serving with Fruitful Harvest International Ministries out of Sulphur Springs were also in the Philippines for the storm. Their family members tell us they they're safe, too. The mission work will carry on until they come home next month.

However, for Gabby's family, the Philippines is home and she's a world away, hoping for the best.

"You can't really do anything about it... just hope and pray that everyone just recovers. That's all that you can really do," says Gabby. Gabby she hasn't been to the Philippines in about 11 years, but she has plans to go back and visit family after her graduation in two years.


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